Grout is an important component of tiling. It holds tiles together, preventing moisture and water from getting into the layers underneath. At the same time, it forms a strong network around the whole structure, helping keep every tile in its place as well as safe from cracks or chips. Grout is as versatile as tiles, and there are different types for different tiles. In addition, grout may be made from naturally found material such as cement and sand or synthetics such as polymers and epoxy.
Grout is traditionally made by mixing cement, sand and water. It is then applied using a grout float. It takes about a day to dry and may need professional application.
Let’s take a look at the major types of grout available:
This type of grout is typically made from mixing cement, water and non-sand particles. It’s used in grout lines smaller than an eighth of an inch wide. This is because unsanded grout tends to shrink after drying. If used in grout lines larger than an eighth of an inch, it will shrink to the point where grout lines will be left exposed, resulting in an unsuccessful grouting job. Because it doesn’t have abrasive particles, this type of grout is great for natural stone such as polished marble and ceramic tile as well as shower floors and walls. It is also used with our mother of pearl tiles.
This is a cement based mortar which has a bit of sand added to it. It’s ideal for grout lines that are larger than 1/8 inch because there’s no risk of the grout shrinking and ruining the grout job due to the presence of sand. Sand also provides extra strength to the grout joints, making the whole structure more resilient to wear and tear through the months and even years. This is great for ceramic and stone tile since these types of tile have larger grout joints. Sanded grout is absorbent and may attract dirt; because of this, it’s a good idea to seal it once you’re done grouting. Lastly, do not use sanded grout on easily scratched tile such as marble.
This is the crème de la crème of grout given its strength, versatility and durability. Epoxy grout is made by combining epoxy resins and hardener. Given the fact that it’s impermeable to liquids and moisture, you may not need to seal this kind of grout. It’s suitable for places that come into contact with water such as backsplashes, kitchen floors and bathrooms.
Epoxy needs to be applied within a short time period because it can solidify shortly after being activated. If you have a large area that needs grouting, we suggest that you divide your grout into two and stash the other half in your freezer. This helps slow down the chemical reaction, leaving your grout pliable once it’s out of the freezer for use. Epoxy grout also comes in different colors, making it ideal for non-patterned tiles that require a grout color that’s similar to the tile.
Epoxy grout does not scratch tile. However, to be on the safe side, test it on a small section of the tile before applying it en masse.
This is a type of grout that’s similar to epoxy with the exception of it being composed of polymers of fortified alcohols. This makes furan highly resistant to scratches, stains and wear and tear. Furan is usually used in industrial applications in places such as labs, factories and commercial buildings.
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